Insurance for HIV/AIDS patients to be a reality soon on Naco push

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 16, 2012 12:40 hrs

Pricing issues that were holding back insurance companies from covering HIV/AIDS patients, may soon be removed with the National Aids Control Organisation (Naco) setting up a working group to collect data that will help in pricing an insurance product covering HIV/AIDS.

A working group was formulated under the aegis of additional secretary of Naco last month with representatives from ministry of finance, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), Life Insurance Council, General Insurance Council, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and People Living with HIV (PLHIV) representatives.

"The draft study protocol is under consideration with our research unit in Naco that will be presented to the working group for fine tuning and commissioning of the study for designing an insurance product by month-end. Apart from the anti retroviral therapy (ART), the study protocols will look into how frequently PLHIV get opportunistic infections, the medical requirements and the periodicity of it from the point of view of insurance," says Naco official.

Once the analysis is complete, the insurance regulator will come out with different options of insuring HIV/AIDS.

In September last year, the Delhi High Court had directed Irda to provide health insurance to PLHIV/AIDS. The insurance regulator in February had released the draft norms asking for feedback and stating that the final guidelines for covering PLHIV/AIDS would be out by October 2012. However, in absence of data to price such products, the final guidelines could not be released.

At present, standalone health insurance company Star Health and Allied Insurance is the only insurance company that has a product exclusively covering HIV/AIDS called Star Net Plus.

V Jagannathan, CMD of Star Health and Allied Insurance, said, "It is a profitable product for us. The policy offers cash compensation of Rs 30,000-50,000 if HIV becomes a full-blown Aids. The medical cover too, continues, but would not cover opportunistic infections like tuberculosis and stomach infections."

News courtesy: Financial Chronicle

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